Thursday, April 24, 2008

Jesus Slaves

Bumper stickers tell you a lot about the people who stick them to their cars. The pithy, quaint and sometimes profound little slogans are often packed with humor, meaning, or just frivolity.

I saw a bumper sticker last night that caught my attention -- but not in a good way. I'll see them every now and again. About 6 months ago I saw one that made Christians out to be fascists. So, a couple of times a year, I'll see something like this.

"Jesus Slaves." That's what the sticker said. White background, black type with red outlines. Jesus Slaves.

Now, had there been some context to this statement like Paul's statement, "Likewise he who is called [while] free is Christ's slave," (I Corinthians 7:22b) it would have been one thing. After all, we have been made Christ's slave by our choice. Our willingness to submit is not grievous because, as the Lord says, "My yoke [is] easy and My burden is light" (Matthew 11:30).

But, I think we're all quite certain that was not the meaning of the bumper sticker. This person likely had fallen for the too oft painted picture of a Christianity that demands and requires. You know: “Do this!” “Don’t do that!” “Go there!” “Wear this!” “Never go there!” So many times that’s the FALSE impression people get about Christ and following Him. And unfortunately, many who call themselves His followers have fallen into that same trap of performance. We must DO to earn His merits. We must pay to gain His attention.

I used to be enamored of the same view. Then, I learned the meaning of GRACE. Grace gives when we have nothing to give in return. Grace loves when we are unlovely. Grace FREES when we are enslaved. Grace fills when we are empty and begins to empty us of worldly worries, only to fill us with eternals blessings. That anyone could display a bumper sticker saying “Jesus Slaves” gives ample evidence that they do not KNOW Jesus.

Yes, I can say with Paul, I am a “bondservant for Jesus’ sake” (II Corinthians 4:5). And happily so -- I wouldn’t have it any other way.


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